“When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”
Diane Von Furstenberg.
Hi. I’m back from vacation.
It’s pretty extraordinary what a week of soaking up sunshine with very, very limited internet access can do for your mental health.
I have always known that I am my own worst critic.
There was an article online about talking to yourself the way you would talk to your friends, and it honestly gave me pause because I could never imagine talking to any friend the way I talk to myself. (I would be devastatingly alone in that case!) In fact, I wouldn’t talk to my worst enemy the way I talk to myself.
That realization made me notice just how harsh I can be on myself and how mean and unforgiving I am of my own mistakes. Sometimes I wonder how other people’s inner dialogue sounds, because my own is not very pleasant at all.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think, ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself.”
– Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Is my life just a collection of anecdotes featuring Murakami quotes? Maybe.
There’s a tradition (O-souji) in Japan at the end of each year to do a big cleaning before each year ends. This tradition takes place both in the workplace, and at home.
2017 has been a year of big changes for me. There were a lot of ups and downs. A lot of tears. A lot of growth. In short, a lot of making hard decisions in hopes of a 2018 that would make me happy. There were mistakes I learned from. Mistakes I shouldn’t have made. Mistakes I might still be making.
Now that the new year is fast approaching, I’ve really come to the realization that I need to be brutally honest with myself and the people in my life.
Can I see them making me happy in 2018.
Can I see them supporting my dreams and goals in 2018.
Can I see them making me a priority in 2018.
Can I see them helping me become the best version of myself, spiritually and emotionally, in 2018.
If I cannot see people doing that for me in 2018. If the likelihood of them causing me hurt, wasting my time, or stunting my personal growth is high, then I should leave them in 2017.
Yes, I’m afraid of the short-term pain, but I hope after everything that has happened this year, I have learnt not to postpone present pain into the future. I want to start 2018 with a clean house – to throw out all of the (metaphorical) trash and start with a fresh slate, full of potential and opportunity.
As with Osouji, it’s easiest to clean house when you do it in one big swoop. When you pick up your old, ripped stuffed animal and are reminded of all the happy memories, understand that those memories are still yours – but that you no longer need the toy. When you realize you haven’t made a happy memory with that toy in years, what are you still doing with that baggage?
So my dear reader, here’s to the end of 2017 and to a better 2018.
I hope you make the cut.
I have somehow found myself to be in the uncharted position where I (and the majority !!!) of my female friends are single. As such, a significant proportion of our conversations have now centered around how to ‘avoid assholes’ and what makes someone a good person, specifically, a good man.
“You. Now, you listen to me. You’re going to be alone now, and you’re very bad at that. You’re going to be furious and you’re going to be sad, but listen to me. Don’t let this change you. No, listen. Whatever happens next… wherever she is sending you, I know what you’re capable of. You don’t be a warrior. Promise me. Be a Doctor.”
“What’s the point of being a Doctor if I can’t cure you?”
“Heal yourself. You have to. You can’t let this turn you into a monster. So… I’m not asking you for a promise. I’m giving you an order. You will not insult my memory. There will be no revenge. I will die, and no-one else, here or anywhere, will suffer.”
“What about me?”
“If there was something I could do about that, I would. I guess we’re both just going to have to be brave.”
Clara Oswald, to the 12th Doctor
So I kind of have this thing for metaphors.
I like pondering about the significance of things and comparing my relationships with people to ‘leaves falling away in the midst of autumn, too weary to keep holding on’. I spend a significant amount of time finding quotes on Goodreads and saving them in my blog (it’s like tumblr for non-teenagers, right?). Murakami is my religion because I too, believe that people’s hearts are like deep wells. When I need a pick-me-up on especially tough days, I read Billy Joel lyrics on google.
This particular habit is usually self-contained but once in a while, someone else comes up with a metaphor that I especially delight in, and it’s worth a blogpost.
Do you know someone who compliments you like this?
“I don’t like talking to so-and-so, they’re so annoying, but I like talking to you.”
“I don’t actually think a lot of other people smart, but I think you’re smart.”
“Girls in this city are so shallow, I’m glad you’re not like that.”
I really feel like I’m writing a lot but actually nothing ever makes it to the blog because I can’t seem to commit to making those thoughts ‘public’. So, why not a dump of Rick and Morty quotes that give me plausible deniability when it comes to expressing how I feel about life?
Wubba Lubba Dub Dub.